fbpx
Close

Uh oh...

It appears that you're using a severely outdated version of Safari on Windows. Many features won't work correctly, and functionality can't be guaranteed. Please try viewing this website in Edge, Mozilla, Chrome, or another modern browser. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused!

Read More about this safari issue.
Close
Northwest Fayetteville
Get directions
Northwest Homegrown 0

Short Film “South” Features Fayetteville Artist

A

A new film starring a Fayetteville artist has been selected for several well-known film festivals this year.

The short film “South” tells the story of Fayetteville artist South Walker and his unique ability as a sculptor as an artist on the autism spectrum.

South’s story is remarkable. Before his diagnosis, as his mother Missi tells it, the Walkers were visiting Tulsa for a trip to the zoo when a waitress at a pizza restaurant inadvertently helped South discover his talent while at the same time giving him a way to communicate that he hadn’t been able to find before.

At the time, their son was about three years old and the Walker’s knew South was a little late to begin speaking and was fussier than normal at restaurants. Otherwise, though, they weren’t aware that anything was out of the ordinary with their first child.

As part of their vacation, though, as they were determined to have at least one dinner that didn’t come from a drive-thru, their son began predictably melting down at the table at a restaurant when the waitress brought over something that changed everything.

“This little waitress came by and said, ‘Does he want some pizza dough,'” Missi said in the opening minute of the documentary.

South immediately went to work with the dough, and the family enjoyed their first-ever quiet meal at a restaurant. South sculpted McDonald’s golden arches out of the dough, communicating what would have been his preference for dinner that evening, and unlocking a new skill that has become a lifelong passion.

Short Film "South" Features Fayetteville Artist

A view inside South’s Lab. Screen capture / “South”

Since that fateful moment at a Tulsa Carrabba’s Italian Grill, sculpting has become a passion for South. The artist – now 19 – has spent countless hours sculpting thousands of small figures, including everything from cartoon characters to sports mascots and people from popular culture in his “laboratory” in the dining room of his parents’ house.

Last year during the pandemic, Kyle Gibbons – one of his former teachers from McNair Middle School – suggested the idea to make a short film about his abilities. Gibbons’ pitched the idea to Patrick Cone, his friend from college, who is a filmmaker with C1 Entertainment, and the film project was born.

Cone and Gibbons visited the Walkers and shot the film over two days last summer, and the movie was released in the fall.

Missi said that South’s trust in Gibbons and Cone’s simple, minimally-intrusive style of filming helped make her son comfortable enough to participate in the film.

Short Film "South" Features Fayetteville Artist

South surrounded by his creations. Screen capture / “South”

“I didn’t know if South would do it or not, but having Kyle there to ask the questions was big, and of course, Patrick was great with him,” she said. “He had his camera and lights, but he shot the whole film himself, and he was as non-intrusive as he could be.”

The film is about 12 minutes long and includes appearances by South, his parents Missy and Stuart Walker, his sisters Lexi and Katie, his art teachers Natalie Conway and Duane Coleman and several of his friends who have received his sculptures as gifts over the years.

Continue reading at Fayetteville Flyer

Meet the
author.

Learn more about .

A little about .

Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

Read more stories by Fayetteville Flyer - Dustin Bartholomew

 

Visit Fayetteville Flyer - Dustin Bartholomew’s Website

Like this story? Read more from Fayetteville Flyer - Dustin Bartholomew

0
0
0
0
0
0

Join the Conversation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 

Submit a photo

We select one featured photo per week, but we show many more in our gallery. Be sure to fill out all the fields in order to have yours selected.
  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, Max. file size: 5 MB.

Regions Topics
Social

What are you looking for?

Explore Arkansas

Central Arkansas

Little Rock, Conway, Searcy, Benton, Heber Springs

Northwest Arkansas

Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale, Fort Smith

South Arkansas

Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Arkadelphia

Explore by Topic